Any recommendations for Headphones and amp for under £1500?

I’ve never had a decent set of headphones so have no experience here. I’ve been thinking about a Headline but by the time you add a Napsc or Hicap it starts to get pricey. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good alternative amp and headphones to go with it. Don’t really want to spend over £1500 all in as I really prefer my Briks. But with things the way they are it could be useful.

Second hand headline 2, can be had for about £200 to £250 and then pick up a second hand power supply for it. Easy to do both for around £500 and thats what i did.
I am looking at trying a balanced headphone amp, once all this is over, to run off my dcs rossini balanced outputs

Are you looking for just an amp or dac/amp solution?

İs it portabilty a plus? A DAP might be a solution as well with a nice pair of IEMs

Usual suspects are Chord line, Brooklyn and many other amp/dac combos even Naim dac v-1 for a good price

For amp only Violectric v200

Drop has good offers on both headphone and amps as well HD6xx is a fine place to start without spending too much

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Just a headphone amp. No portability required. I’ll run it out of my 252 so I could listen to vinyl while the family watch tv.

Looking around I’ve not seen them going that cheap. Maybe I haven’t looked hard enough. If I could do it at that price it would be an option.

Any thoughts on headphones around the £1k mark?

What are you looking for - closed or open backed. If you want to listen without being disturbed by external noise or annoying others close to you then closed would be the way to go ?

Yes, closed back.

Do you wear glasses ?

Not when I’m reading

Ok that’s good - The Focal Elegia could be a good starting point - a very decent closed headphone. Not the ideal time to audition but its worth trying different models at a dealer to ensure you like the sound and find them comfortable (or the seller has a good return policy). It might also be worth aiming a bit lower to see how you get on first and the look at hi-end models if you end up spending a lot of time using them.

The Rega Ear is a very decent headphone amp - a sensible design and good SQ at a very good price.

Thanks James. Something for me to start researching.

Not sure about closed back headphones as the 2 i have are both open, but as for the headline 2, you can usually find them on ebay for around that price if you wait and iv you check the sold section on them it will give you a good idea of selling price achieve

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I have a set of Audeze LCD-XC closed back and a Graham Slee Ultra Linear headphone amp. Both were bought used for under your budget, cant fault them really through the LCDs are heavy, which does not bother me. I use the RCA out from a Nova to feed the headphone amp, as I also have a 300DR all I do is switch that off when using headphones…

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I second Focal Elegia together with Massdrop MRSPEAKERS Ether CX

I am using Bryston Bha-1 almost same way

Just for the amp rega, arcam, creek, burston, violectric have very good value products

Lehmann Black Cube Linear. I have one with a pair of Sennheiser 700s. You will need a special din out cable from your 252. Happy with mine

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I have the din to four phono used very occasionally with my tape deck. The output channels of that lead would work until I could source something more elegant wouldn’t they?

Lots of stuff here if you search

I had the same budget a while ago and did a few headphone demos. Found that they are very, very different in character at £500 to £1k and also some were too uncomfy to tolerate (Audeze weigh a ton) so strong advice to try a dealer who will lend some or offer 14 day return. Sennheiser v ‘impressive’ but not musically engaging for me. Some nice Grado at around £1k

I ended up with Quad Era which are about £600 and the cheapest I tested but I just found the most enjoyable. V good with Trilogy 931 amp at about £800. Better with a Chord Shawcan cable and bloomin marvellous with Trilogy 933 but that is a big chunk of money. It shows the cans are good though.

Another amp suggested to me and used at my dealer demo was Graham Slee. Fits your budget. I did not have space for Headline plus PS. Arcam iHead is amazing for the money but the Trilogy 931 is a big step up

Have fun, but try or borrow before you buy if at all possible.


Hi yes should work fine

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Quad Era is open back i think

Yes. Unfortunately, as they were interesting when reading up on them.